Panel addresses rising interest in socialism

Margaret Peppiatt
Staff Writer

Three speakers discussed socialism from an economic and theological perspective in a presentation Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Gentile Gallery.

The panelists were Juan Jauregui, former senior economist at the International Monetary Fund; Andrew Jones, who holds a doctorate in European history; and Deborah Savage, who holds a doctorate in religious studies.

Thomas Kelly, chair of the Department of Accounting, Business Administration and Economics, and Stephen Hildebrand, chair of the Department of Theology, both offered opening remarks, stating that the event represented a collaboration between the departments that will extend into the future.

Savage said young people are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with capitalism and turning to socialism.

“We are here tonight to begin a community effort to understand why that might be, what those terms really mean, and what stand is called for by faithful Catholics such as ourselves,” Savage said.

After Savage defined key terms such as capitalism and socialism, Jauregui discussed economic problems that contribute to the growing discontent with capitalism. He named low economic growth and high household and public debt as two main causes.

Jones used the work of Pope Pius XI to discuss the parameters for a proper Catholic response to socialism. The problems society faces are caused by the rise of liberalism and an abandonment of Christianity, Jones said.

“The only solution is the restoration of society’s orientation toward the true and the good and its grateful reception of the grace of God — in other words, conversion,” Jones said.

The presentation was followed by an open discussion, giving audience members the opportunity to raise questions they had.

Junior Michaela Costanzo said, “I was really excited about this, and about the problem being presented so clearly, especially by Dr. Jones, and about him presenting the truth about capitalism and socialism, and how neither one is the exact answer.”

The event was sponsored by the Department of Accounting, Business Administration and Economics, the Department of Theology and the Leadership Institute.


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